97 AMW partners with Ft. Sill, Ft. Smith for joint airlift capabilities

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kayla Christenson
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 58th Airlift Squadron and 97th Logistics Readiness Squadron teamed up with Soldiers from Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for a joint-exercise training exhibiting M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems Rapid Infiltration capabilities at Fort Smith, Arkansas, June 13-14, 2023.

One C-17 Globemaster III from Altus Air Force Base flew to Lawton Regional Airport where Fort Sill humvees and M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems were loaded by Soldiers and Airmen, then flown to Fort Smith to offload.

“Joint-partnership with the Air Force is vital because we cannot go anywhere around the world without them,” said U.S. Army Capt. Megan Hatter, 158th Field Artillery Battalion logistics coordinator. “This training ensures deployment readiness for our soldiers to know how to load, unload and conduct these missions for the future fight.”

The HIMARS HI-RAIN capability is an asset that allows a long-range capability to destroy targets behind enemy lines and provides versatility to battlefield commanders.

“There is a lot that goes into successfully deploying these assets and we don’t get to practice this skill often, which is why this training opportunity is so vital,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jeremey John, 58th AS instructor loadmaster. “Wars are won through logistics and through the expedited offload of vehicles, supplies and personnel, which allows Soldiers to quickly establish positions and immediately begin operations.”

Training with allies and partners creates an environment of excellence, which enhances lethality and readiness for multi-capable Airmen.

“We typically only focus on training aircrew so it was excellent to get the opportunity to train with our Port Dawgs and sister service partners,” said John. “We fight in a joint environment and that will only become increasingly important. We must understand how we all operate so we can focus on executing the mission, and training with our sister services ensures we are operating at peak performance.”